Businesses that don’t keep their promises to customers get away with it but at their own peril

English: Grilled calamari
Grilled calamari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Christmas morning we went down to the beach at Muizenberg for a swim. The water was lovely and cool and enjoyable beyond measure. Afterwards, we all felt a bit peckish from the sun, sea and sand and went up to a small restaurant for some calamari, chips and coffee. The coffee was all right but the chips and calamari were nothing really to speak about. In fact, the calamari was tasteless. It was so easy to spot the fault with the calamari. It had been soaked in meat tenderiser to make it soft which had left the calamari tasteless. Continue reading “Businesses that don’t keep their promises to customers get away with it but at their own peril”

The power of positive ideas

Rotten_tomatoesIn my posts I talk a lot about new ideas for start-ups, small business innovation and generally new business ideas that make things better.

Yet some people cook up ideas for their own wicked games. The process can be the same to come up with positive ideas as it is to generate negative ideas. Yet the intention is the difference between day and night.

Just think about the dirty rotten scoundrels who want to take your house, car, savings, and perhaps even your life.

Now, let me ask you this… have you thought about how certain people generate their big bad ideas? You may have but here are some negative ideas (yet seemingly positive) for those who can put a gun to your head: Continue reading “The power of positive ideas”

Why you absolutely must innovate in a recession

Source: wikimedia commons
Source: wikimedia commons

What if I could write down a bunch of ideas for you on a piece of paper that would:

1) Get you more sales for your business in a recession
2) Increase your profits comfortably over your previous year
3) Cut the worry about your business you have most nights

Would you be interested?

Of course you would. And I’d be just as interested to see the look on your face.

But here’s the thing: Continue reading “Why you absolutely must innovate in a recession”

Rather don’t try this to perk up slow sales

A “perfect” family moves into an upper middle-class neighborhood, invites their neighbours over and proudly shows them the products they’ve bought from high-tech toys and designer clothes to luxury cars.

Perfect couple Steve and Kate Jones, and their gorgeous teen-aged children Jenn and Mick, are all in it together – they’ve signed up as professional product promoters.

Unsuspecting, envious, neigbours buy high-tech golf clubs, high-priced jewels and gourmet food to keep up with the “The Joneses”.

Soon some of their buying behaviour starts to have tragic consequences.

“The Joneses” is a movie that shows the fictive world of stealth marketing gone crazy.

Stealth or undercover marketing involves inducing consumers to buy without realizing they are being marketed to.

Small businesses wouldn’t stoop at using such dubious techniques but with their biggest problem being weak consumer spending they need to find out more about their customers – why they are not buying and, when they do, what kinds of purchases are they making.

Formal market “research” – focus groups, interviews, questionnaires — costs a lot of money. You don’t want to do that if you’ve got a small business.

To get a better handle on what your market wants and needs generate ideas on how to find out your customers’ problems, how they use your products and what keeps them from buying more from your business.

You’ll get a better understanding of the realities your customers face when you get out and listen to them. You may find opportunities to better serve them, which could mean more business for you.

By taking time out to talk to your customers and observe them, you may find that they need associated products and services that you may not have thought about.

Knowing your market, what your customers want and their changing needs, is what all small business people need to know.

Especially when sales are down and could slow some more.

But how often do we assume we know what’s best for our customers, try outguess them and arrogantly decide what they should buy?

To keep in touch with what customers need, want and desire you have to get into their world and understand their problems.

Stay inspired.


Chesney Bradshaw